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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

92                             Egyptian Art
are bas-reliefs of exquisite workmanship showing King Zoser
performing ceremonies, the ritual of which has already been
fixed by long tradition. A sealed chamber at the base of the
north side of the pyramid was found to contain an admirable
statue of the king, who is shown wrapped in a heavy cloak; his
eyes, rendered in inlay, give him a startling appearance of life.
žii. The Mother of Cheops
More than 150 feet below the earth, at the bottom of a shaft,
and completely sealed by blocks of limestone, was found a small
chamber hollowed out of the solid rock, concealing part of the
funeral gear of Queen Hetepheres, mother of Cheops. This
included a superb sarcophagus of polished alabaster, but the
queen's mummy was no longer there. The ingenious theory has
been suggested that the former tomb at Dahshur was plun-
dered, and its contents transferred to a specially built hiding-
place at Gizeh.
The furnishings of the tomb were of exceptional quality, such
as befitted one who was at once daughter, wife, and mother of
kings. Every object is of precious material: we find a vase and
ewer of gold; a chest, with enamel embossed ornament, holds
toilet articles fashioned in most cases of gold or rare stones.
There is a casket containing a set of ankle-rings in silver, on
which a stylized dragonfly design has been traced in semi-
precious stones. The bed and chair are of wood, covered with
gold plaques with an incised pattern. The queen's palanquin
bears her titles in tiny gold hieroglyphs let into the wood. They
are a masterpiece of calligraphy, both in their perfect grouping
and in the consummate workmanship with which every symbol
has been designed and executed.
The dead woman had at her disposal everything which she
was accustomed to take on a journey, including even the great
jointed framework from which draperies would be hung to form
a ceremonial pavilion. The inscriptions engraved on the gold